Border policeman shot dead in Bulgaria at border with Turkey

An unidentified person shoots at a border police officer and a serviceman near Bulgaria’s Golyam Dervent village.

Bulgarian border police personnel stand near the fence, built across the Bulgarian-Turkish border, near Elhovo, Bulgaria
Bulgarian border police personnel stand near the fence built across the Bulgarian-Turkish border [File: Stoyan Nenov/Reuters]

A Bulgarian police officer has been shot dead at the border with Turkey, according to the interior minister.

The incident occurred on Monday evening, when an unidentified person shot at a border police officer and a serviceman who were patrolling a stretch of the border near the village of Golyam Dervent, minister Ivan Demerdzhiev said on Tuesday.

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The police officer died on the spot while the serviceman was not hurt. Additional border patrols were dispatched to the scene, but the attacker was not captured and is believed to be on Turkish territory.

The minister told reporters at the scene that he had received assurances from Turkey that the attacker will be found. He added that border patrols will start using another type of weapon but did not elaborate.

“The patrols are facing an unprecedented refugee surge every day. Last night’s case was an extreme act of aggression,” Demerdzhiev said, adding that the Turkish side should take an active approach.

“I asked the same from Europol and the European Commission,” said Demerdzhiev, adding that this case was the first of its kind.

Key migrant route

Bulgaria has deployed 350 troops and 40 army vehicles along its southern border with Turkey to help border police deal with a growing migrant influx.

The troops will conduct joint patrols along the 259-kilometre (161-mile) border with Turkey.

The Balkan country is located on a key route for migrants from the Middle East and Afghanistan to Europe.

Only a small number of them plan to stay in the EUs poorest member, using Bulgaria instead as a transit corridor on their way westward.

Source: AP